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Robotic Table Art ‘Sisyphus’ Creates Sand Drawings by Itself

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(Courtesy Bruce Shapiro)
(Courtesy Bruce Shapiro)

 

Bruce Shapiro makes art, and so do his tables. “Sisyphus,” as Shapiro calls his latest invention, is a kinetic sculpture that rolls a metallic ball through sand to create dazzling patterns and designs. A product of 20 years of work, the result is a hybrid coffee table and zen garden.

 

Sisyphus is powered by a two-motor robot that’s affixed underneath a glass panel that the sand and metallic ball lay upon. The robot is fed a path, which the metallic ball maneuvers along. All is guided by a magnet controlled by a small computer, Raspberry Pi. This means all the designs are customizable.

(Courtesy Bruce Shapiro)
(Courtesy Bruce Shapiro)
The 4-foot version (Courtesy Bruce Shapiro)
The 4-foot version (Courtesy Bruce Shapiro)

 

Shapiro launched a Kickstarter to fund his project and inspire artists to submit their own sand designs to him. Per the Kickstarter campaign, he’s selling three versions of Sisyphus: a three- and four-foot version (both have walnut, birch, maple, and black veneer options); as well as a two-foot end table that’s metal with a glass top.

Learn more about Sisyphus—or support Bruce Shapiro’s project by buying one for yourself—here. See more of his work below.

The 3-foot wide Sisyphus (Courtesy Bruce Shapiro)
The 3-foot wide Sisyphus (Courtesy Bruce Shapiro)
Shapiro's 2-foot end table (Courtesy Bruce Shapiro)
Shapiro’s 2-foot end table (Courtesy Bruce Shapiro)